Over the years, our clients have become an extension of our business, something which has become more apparent over past few months thanks to their continued support in such uncertain times.
Which is why, we felt, the time was right to shine the spotlight on those individuals behind the companies that we work so closely with on a day-to-day basis.
We would like to thank Rob for taking the time to share his career highlights, best projects this year and aspirations for the future.
MAR (Module-AR Limited) was established in 2007 and formed by Rob and Amanda Grimbleby, after almost 20 years’ experience working in the industry for others, we decided to back ourselves and set off on our own journey. Timing was not the best, the world was entering one of the worst recessions on record however through hard work and determination we came out the other side turning over more than £ 1.5m making a profit in the first 12 months.
Thirteen years later, a workforce of over 80 employees, a turnover in excess of £15m we have established a growing yet sustainable business with blue chip customers and long-term partners. To this day the company is still a family run business without external shareholders.
Our company USP is that we are a Main Contractor with a factory and are well versed in the delivery of Full Turnkey Solutions, through a targeted recruitment drive we have recruited from outside of the offsite industry and invested in skills and talent from the Traditional Construction market.We realise that the delivery of the projects we are involved with are more than just the factory quality-controlled element, it is how the customers project requirements and outcomes are fully realised.
We work in a multitude of sectors these are predominantly, Education, Commercial, Residential, Retail and Leisure
Our highlight project this year I would say is the development of 8 no. Townhouses on Wigan Pier for a Developer partner of ours.The project is located alongside a canal making the site logistics challenging, not only to prevent the canal wall from being damaged etc. but in respect to installing piled foundations and the delivery and installation of the modules.
I think that the most challenging / rewarding project to deliver was a classroom facility of circa. 600m2 over 2 floors to a primary school in Northumberland for Northumberland CC. The project was challenging from a timescale perspective, the building from order to completion took just 8 weeks with the deadline set of the schools return from the Summer holidays / Lockdown.This was a full turnkey solution involving demolition of an existing building, new services and foundations, building manufacture, installation and completion plus soft and hard landscaping.
The reward was 2-fold:
1; we completed the scheme in time to house the returning children and teachers
2; an adjacent traditionally constructed scheme was running alongside ours and the traditional contractor site team said we could never achieve what we were planning to do, which of course we did whilst their scheme was running 6 months late!
Trends / Innovations we are seeing in the offsite industry is the need for Carbon Neutral Affordable Housing.Our current affordable housing offering is BOPAS approved (Build Offsite Property Assurance Scheme) which enables is to be mortgaged.CNAH is an going R&D programme which we are undertaking and looking to bring to the market in the coming weeks
Funny one this from my perspective, there are so many ‘individual’ elements of the ‘well known’ players in the industry that I admire but feel that on the flip side there are things that I do not. If I am honest I believe we have identified these strengths and weaknesses and aligned our business to match the strengths but to turn the weaknesses into our opportunities.
Since Covid-19 the business has not changed in respect to what we do, it’s how we do it that has changed, in mostly, for the better. We, like most business during Covid-19 have facilitated working from home for the majority of our employees, this previously seen as ‘loss of control’ has in fact been a light bulb moment and to the credit of our dedicated team they have risen to the challenge of this obstacle and stepped up and shown improved productivity.We offered a similar alternative working arrangement to our factory workforce prior to Covid-19 in way of 4 day working in lieu of 5 days although covering the same working hours, improving productivity and morale significantly.
I think the developments in our key sectors that have most impressed this year are medium to high rise residential schemes, we have positioned ourselves to target the low to medium rise apartments and housing schemes of which we have provided several over the previous 18 months.
Our aspiration for the next 5 years is to become one of the ‘Top 5’ in the industry to be known for true customer service and the most admired partner for realising predictable project outcomes.